Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Alternate Activity 2: Drip Sand Castles

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Bowls (one per participant) and large baking tray or cookie sheet
  • Fine grain play sand
  • Pitcher of water
  • Plastic plates (one per participant)

Preparation for Activity

  • Set out materials in a space that will not be damaged by water or sand. If weather permits, do this activity outside in an area that won't be harmed by a bit of spilled sand.

Description of Activity

Ask the children if they know a way to make a sand castle on the beach. Affirm that one can heap up piles of sand, or form large shapes with buckets. Tell them that patience and persistence, added to sand and water, can build beautiful, delicate fairy castles.

Give each participant a plate to build on, and a bowl of sand, with enough water added to cover the sand. Demonstrate: Take a handful of wet sand and hold it over a plate in a loose fist with the thumb up. Squeeze drops of very wet sand onto the plate so they accumulate to build a structure. Encourage participants to experiment with how much water to allow to drain from their hand, back into the bowl, before dripping the sand onto the castle. After participants have experimented with creating individual sand castles, they may wish to work jointly on building a larger castle on a cookie sheet or baking tray.

As participants work, or after they are done building the castles, invite them to reflect on the experience:

  • How did it feel to build drip sand castles?
  • Was it frustrating to build something that went fairly slowly?
  • Was it relaxing?
  • Was it difficult that you could not completely control where the drips went?
  • Did trying to go faster make the castle come together faster or not? Did slowing down help you build it the way you wanted?
  • What are some other activities that go better when you have patience and go slowly? (For instance, when gardening you have to wait for plants to come up. There's no way to rush the process.)

Invite participants to think of building justice in their community or in the world as an activity like building a drip sand castle. Why does it sometimes go slowly? What individual drips of effort have you seen people make toward building justice?

Including All Participants

Participants who are uncomfortable getting their hands wet and sandy can try the activity using a scoop and a turkey baster or funnel.